The Red Whistle, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing HIV awareness and improving HIV services in the Philippines, launched the pilot run of its Condom Hero program, an initiative that provides free condoms to those who may be in need of it in Makati and Pasay City.
The program, in partnership with the Center for Health Solutions & Innovations and the United Nations Population Fund, seeks to bridge the gap between the people who are engaging in sexual activity and the sexual health products they do not have access to because of quarantine measures.
In a phone conversation with Preen.ph, JF Escobañez, executive vice president of The Red Whistle, says that this project has already been in the works for quite some time. Originally, the project was envisioned as physical condom stops strategically located in city halls or public health centers. However, the team recognized the stigma of asking for condoms in public places and so adapted the project to the current model.
In this pilot run, condoms are distributed by Condom Heroes, volunteers who advertise the delivery service on their social media sites. Those who are interested can contact the volunteers personally in order to set up a delivery or meet-up date. All this is for free.
Escobañez says that the pandemic and the succeeding quarantine has made their team realize the importance of having easy access to sexual health products, especially for less fortunate communities. As with all the programs of The Red Whistle, this initiative can hopefully play a part in breaking the stigma around contraceptives and proper sexual practices.